Reader's View: Bad time for Trump’s reckless talk
Inject your spouse with bleach. Pour yourself a Lysol cocktail. Dangle a penlight down your child's throat. These are all crude versions of possible remedies for the coronavirus suggested by the president of the United States at his press briefing on April 23. His halting, simple-minded exploration of the far edges of medical research revealed no awareness of the dangerous effects his reckless talk might have on gullible citizens.
Think no one would be dumb enough to act on President Donald Trump's research report? Think again. Drugs he previously touted, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, are being studied for possible treatment of the coronavirus but have not been proven effective and have demonstrated fatal side effects. Nonetheless, a couple in Phoenix heard the president praise the promise of these drugs in a press briefing, and the wife remembered that their fish tank cleaner contained chloroquine phosphate, so they stirred a teaspoonful in a glass of soda each and drank it. Both were hospitalized. The husband died.
According to the New York Times, prices for the fish-tank cleaner have zoomed on eBay. And since Trump's recent fumbling disquisition on the power of light and disinfectant to perform "almost a cleaning" in the human body, panicked phone calls to poison control centers have spiked across the country.
Trump's pronouncements as a medical ideas man are appallingly hilarious, but his peculiar mix of arrogance and ignorance is deadly. It's killing Americans. Watch the video of his April 23 press briefing. See how Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator of his Coronavirus Task Force, reacts when the flower of the Republican Party suggests injecting disinfectant as a cure. Doesn't she look sick?